At some point along the line you decided to make it a family affair and bring the younglings along! Here are a few words of advice for those families coming to Celebration for the first time.
What makes me qualified I hear you ask? I have attended Celebrations and many a convention with my daughter in tow, both on my own or with my husband since she was a baby. We have learned (sometimes the hard way) the do’s and don’ts of bringing children to conventions! where we are now at the point when our daughter now 10 tells us what to do…
So let’s begin!
Don’t over plan!
Every parent knows their child/children. However, even the most content and happy child will at some point have a meltdown! Celebration is a wonderful place for kids, there is so much for them to see and do, but this also means they will be over stimulated, busy and excited, and at some point they will crash and burn.
Strike a balance.
You will obviously want to see and do stuff as well as spend an hour at the LEGO stand or search for wookiees in a ball pit! If you’re on your own then prioritise what it is you would like to see or do (but be prepared for bored and crankiness if it involves a long queue or being quiet in a panel.) It’s at that point out comes the iPad/Tablet with headphones and snacks (I ignored the tuts and the looks when my daughter was sat in a panel with her headphones on munching away at food) she was happy and resting and most of all silent and I was happy getting to see a panel.
Even better, if you have a partner with you who will take it in turns to look after the kids so each of you get time out to have a look, as well as sharing time together as a family.
Location Location Location!
Find all the kids friendly zones and activities ahead of Celebration using either the website or app, screenshot the locations and then you will know where to retreat ASAP. The kids zone in particular have been fantastic in the past, my daughter and friend’s son really enjoyed themselves there, with a large variety of activities including arts and craft, lightsaber school and giant garden games such as Jenga and connect 4! Bear in mind though this area is NOT a creche, and you must stay with your child!
Feed the beasts
Bring plenty of food and drinks and ensure you keep the kids fed and watered regularly. I know this sounds obvious but with so much going on you can forget and the consequences can be catastrophic!
This is a hard one, but know when to quit and head back to the hotel. Trying to string it out is all well and good until you get back to the hotel and you have an overstimulated, overtired child who you really would like to sleep but they can’t. This has a huge impact on your plans for the next day, especially if you want to get up early for wristbands!
Get it there and then
Your youngling has spotted something they’d like and as long as you have the budget don’t fob them off with we will get it later! Get it there and then this will keep them quiet (for 5 minutes at least and you also won’t run the risk of it being sold out when you come back! depending on age now that my daughter is older she has been saving her pocket money and I give her daily budget so it’s not all spent at once!
We all know children feed off their parents anxiety, so relax and don’t worry about stuff especially those things you can’t influence such as queues and crowds. Enjoy the time you’re here as it’s all over too quick!
If you have any top tips let us know and we will share them on Fantha Tracks.